Sunday, January 10, 2016

Newsletter w/c 11th January 2016

Well, we almost got ourselves back in our routine last week. One or two New Year Hangovers meant that fruit was a day late in arriving and eggs couldn't get delivered to us in time for deliveries at all. I'm glad to say we're confident that barring weather problems, deliveries should be back to normal. 

With Burns Night  on the horizon, we've included the neeps and tatties in the selection this week with a wee bit of parsley to accompany your haggis. Let us know if you're going to be hosting a Burns Supper at home with your Whole Shebag veg, and how far you  go with the ritual poems and addresses. Up til now we've always addressed the haggis and thats as far as we've gone. This year I fancy trying to get the family to read a bit of the Bards work during the meal too. Whether the others fancy it - I'm not so sure. We'll see what happens.

Keir and I will be sitting down this week to go through the seed catalogues and pick our choice of varieties for this seasons crops. When the seeds get delivered, we feel thats the signal that the new season has begun. We'll get the polytunnel frame covered again at the beginning of February and start sowing.
So, that means i have a month to get as much of the maintenance and one-off jobs done, that I never have time for once the veg starts needing attention. its just a case of grabbing the opportunities we can to get outside when the weather suits and there's enough daylight.

Please let us know if you ever have any problems with the quality of the produce you receive. When veg is dirty or has a skin its sometimes difficult to detect any damage until its cleaned and cut open in the kitchen. We will be happy to replace any un-useable items with additional items in your next delivery.

Please also remember to return the empty net bags

This week, the Standard vegetable bag contains: potatoes, carrots, onion, swede, savoy, fennel and parsley
The Large vegetable bag also includes the above plus mushroom, kale and leek

Potato Solanum tuberosum.. The variety for the most part is Valor. They are very easy to prepare when they’re as fresh as this and really only need a wash and a scrub. Potatoes are the only commonly available source of B3 and Iodine. Excellent source of Vitamin C and also Vitamin B6, Potassium and fibre.
Onion  Allium cepa.  Used in stews, pasta dishes, soups.  Source of Vitamins A and C, Iron, Calcium and Potassium .
Carrot Daucus carota Carrots are eaten fresh in salads or cooked in just about any way you like. They are an excellent source of Vitamin A and also contain significant amounts of Vitamins B, C, D, E and K. and Potassium.
Parsley Petroselinum sp.  This is the more traditional moss-curled type of parsley Excellent for flavouring all sorts of dishes or cut into saladsor, cut over boiled potatoes, with a little melted butter. If it’s looking a bit limp when you receive it just trim the base of the stems off and pop into cold water, shake dry and then pop into a jar of water, covering the bottom of the  stems by about an inch.
Savoy Cabbage Brassica oleracea . To cook, remove any damaged outer leaves, cut into quarters and remove the central core. It can be cooked in quarters like this in boiling salted water or else shredded and boiled or steamed. Here’s a recipe for Cabbage soup which will use up a few items in the bag this week: Prepare and wash the cabbage and shred it finely. Prepare and roughly chop, 2 carrots, the leek and 1/2lb(250g) potatoes. Put all the vegetables in a pan with 3 pints(1.5l) stock and a bouquet garni, bring to the boil  as it has a big and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Season to taste, sprinkle with parsley and serve at once.
Swede  Brassica napa (1 head) The staple of the Scottish winter vegetable garden. Just peel the tough skin off and chop up and boil the sweet, crunchy, orange root. Best served mashed with a dribble of cream and a dod of butter through it. A spoonful of this will partner mashed tatties wherever they’re used and, of course, you can’t have haggis without it.
Fennel (1 head) This stem base can be chopped raw into salads or simmered in a stock. Here’s a recipe for Buttered Fennel: Trim the root base and cut in half lengthways and rinse in cold water. Put the fennel in a pan with a minmal amount of boiling, lightly salted water and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until just tender. Overcooking reduces the sweet aniseed flavour. Drain thoroughly in a colander and keep warm on a serving dish. Now, melt the butter. Season the fennel with pepper, then pour the melted butter over the top and serve. Your cress would be a fine garnish for this dish. Goes particularly well with grilled fish or roast chicken.


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